Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Tao of Leadership

I love seeking out management books that employ Eastern principles. Here we've got Lao Tzu's famous Tao Te Ching adapted and interpreted for a leader's perspective. The principles are viewed through the lens of a manager/leader.

I really enjoyed this book. It's short, but it takes a while to read because you inevitably have to sit and ponder each one-page entry. Let it ruminate and think about how it relates to your situation. I found myself taking numerous photos of the pages and sending them to people or just saving them to my phone for later.

It will definitely need a second reading. One where I sit down and pull out specific pages or quotes and create a "best of," so to speak. I'll probably snag a PDF and pass it around.

For me, the most important passages were typically about silence, standing back, empowering through being rather than doing, humility, nature and polarity.

"...The rigid group leader may be able to lead repetitious and structured exercises but can't cope with lively process. Whatever is flexible and flowing will tend to grow. Whatever is rigid and blocked will atrophy and die."

"...Good leadership consists of motivating people to their highest levels by offering them opportunities, not obligations. That is how things happen naturally. Life is an opportunity and not an obligation."

One of my favorite lines was, "...All growth spreads outward from a fertile and potent nucleus. You are a nucleus." 


The Black Kung-Fu Experience

Hour long PBS special on the black kung-fu experience. Sounds like a pretty cool, esoteric topic to watch. But the PBS doc' is pretty low rent. The topic could have been delved into on such a deeper level. It could have been really freaking awesome. Instead, it's just a so-so hour long surface look at the black community and its relationship with kung-fu. Nothing terribly wrong with it, but I don't really recommend you spend an hour of your life watching it either. Pass.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015


Oh look, I watched another documentary. It's about racing. Shocking.

Gonchi came up on my Netflix queue due to my interest in racing doc's. I'd never heard of Gonchi but I'm not one to turn down a subject due to lack of familiarity so I learned a little about his life and untimely death over the following ninety minutes. Sad and inspirational.

Gonchi was a racing driver on the eve of making it to Formula One when his life was tragically cut short in an accident on track. He had the potential to make a name for himself on the greatest stage in motor racing if he had lived. He was from Uruguay. A trailblazer for his country. A good dude. And obviously very talented.

This is no Senna. Obviously. But it's still a good doc for anyone remotely interested in motor racing. Or even if you're not but you like stories about perseverance, dedication, and making a Gonchi.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Gun Machine

Probably heard about this from GQ a while ago. I just read it and really enjoyed it.

Warren Ellis is better known as a comic book writer. He created the cult classic Transmetropolitan in the late 90's / early 00's. I have the first TPB but I never got any further into it. But wether you like him from Transmet' or not, this is an enjoyable read regardless.

Gun Machine is a cop thriller. It's about a mass murderer and some NYC cops who have to track him down. I'm not a fan of giving away plots so I won't say anything further. But it's definitely a unique cast of characters. The concept isn't new (bag guy chased by good guys), but Warren puts his own stamp on it. It's gritty. There's some fucked up violence. It's pretty gnarly at times. But it's used effectively. You get sucked into the drama and the chase, then every now and then you get peppered with brains and blood. It's part of being a cop.

Hints of noir, too. But not a ton.

If you're squeamish, stay away. If you like a good cop / mass murderer chase thriller then dive right in.